Motivating Action: The Hard Truth of Driving Customer Engagement

Every Customer Success Manager (CSM) knows the struggle: you have an incredible product that can truly enhance the work of your customers, but they resist.

They feel overwhelmed, underprepared, or simply unwilling to take on the new responsibilities that come with implementing your product. Sound familiar?

Then buckle up. We’re going to unpack the challenges of motivating customer action and offer strategies to overcome resistance, understand customer motivations, and drive successful adoption.

Don’t forget that this is a condensed version of our weekly podcast, Impact Weekly. So if you love diving into the intricacies of customer success management and seeking practical, human-focused solutions, make sure you subscribe to stay up-to-date with all our latest content.

Customer Success Podcast: Impact Weekly Episode 36

If you want to go deep on this topic, listen to this episode of our Customer Success podcast, Impact Weekly, that comes out every Wednesday. You can listen below or on your favorite podcast app:

The Human Factor in Customer Success

The starting point is always empathy.

We need to see things from our customers’ perspective, understand their fears, challenges, and concerns.

By recognizing the human aspect of our customers’ experience, we can design more effective strategies that resonate with them.

So, if they feel seen and heard, they’re much more likely to get on board with what we propose.

This empathetic approach forms the foundation of every successful customer engagement strategy.

There’s Peace in the Plan

How many times have you heard the saying, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’? This adage holds incredibly true in the realm of Customer Success.

As with the example I give in the podcast of the pediatric neurosurgeon that delivers a diagnosis and immediately presents a plan to terrified parents, so must we with our customers.

Laying out a structured, specific plan for your customers can provide a measure of comfort and reassurance, thereby reducing their fear and resistance.

Remember, in the chaos that often accompanies change, there is peace in the plan.

Early Involvement of the Execution Team

Customer Success isn’t something that just magically happens. When a decision-maker on the customer side buys a solution and delegates it down to someone or a team to actually use, there’s no guarantee that’s actually going to happen.

One way to help ensure this happens is involving the execution person or team during the sales cycle as this gives them a sense of ownership and reduces the likelihood of feeling blindsided and overwhelmed with this new, additional priority.

By allowing the execution team to participate from the early stages, they become co-creators in the plan, increasing their investment in its success.

Reframing ‘Difficult’ Conversations

Language shapes our experiences. Labeling a conversation as ‘difficult’ can subtly create negative expectations, setting the stage for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, let’s see them for what they truly are – just conversations.

Often the conversations labeled as difficult or challenging are the converastions most pivotal to breakthroughs and progress.

By reframing how we view these discussions, we can approach them with a more constructive mindset, leading to better outcomes for everyone involved.

In the fast-paced world of Customer Success Management, understanding how to motivate customers to embrace change is essential.

Remember to empathize with your customers, to lay out a clear, structured plan for them, to involve the execution team from the get-go, and to approach those critical conversations with a positive, constructive mindset.

Make an Impact… Weekly

Don’t miss out on the insights that could revolutionize your partner relationships. Ensure you’re at the forefront of customer success management by subscribing to our Impact Weekly podcast.

Every Wednesday, we delve into a new aspect of customer and partner success, equipping you with the knowledge you need to thrive in the multi-channel landscape. Subscribe now, and let’s keep learning together.

About Lincoln Murphy

I invented Customer Success. I focus primarily on Customer Engagement. Learn more about me here.